Now past gloaming, and into tenebrous seeming, the cloak of darkness has fallen across our land. We slide slowly into the belly of night on a stately and nightmarish procession towards the plutonian heights of midnight and the advent of the witching hour. Dread and fell things stalk our world, sure and safe below the onyx sky. They wait in shadowy hollows, waiting, hunting and mayhaps even preying upon that thing which is man. But while some may thing it wise to lock the doors and cower in our quaint fortresses of brick and mortar, we instead sally forth into the Stygian murk. We festoon our vulnerable and fleshy forms in gruesome masks and frightful frippery, so as to scare aware these vaporous horrors. We carve the faces of gurning monstrosities into vivid orange gourds and leave them to stand sentinel before the gateways of our fastnesses. Or we hack the essence of a face into the hard and unyielding flesh of turnips and swing these Snanny Lanterns by our sides as we go a galumphing in the gloom. As so we bravely, perhaps even foolishly, hold make the monsters for the night.
All Hallows Eve is weird.
Tonight is a night of perceived horrors and frivolity. It is the end of October, the night of Halloween. And with the coming of this night, when the fabric of reality goes all wibbly, when wraiths and spectres slip through the holes and into the realm of men, we see the end of Pictonauts October. Words were written across the skin of paper and the skein of electrowizardy of computer screens, ideas were spun out of whimsy and fear in equal measure. Some people finished, others didn’t. There are causalities in every endeavour and we must not think less of those who didn’t haul themselves across the broken bodies of discarded words and phrases, to the top of Mount Pictonaut and scream into the windy night “I am unbroken! I am victorious!” It wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy. Even though it really is easy, some people are just fucking lazy (and I love you for you laziness, truly I do). I could make an awful pun about walls and how, with the deadline now reached, there’s writing on them. But I fear that would be almost crass in the ease at which it could be made, I’m better than that. Puns are not the master of me. I can stop any time I want.
Water, water everywhere...
As you may be aware this month’s Pictonaut challenge has a distinctly spooky bent to it. What with October being all ghosts, witches and an assorted agglomeration of supernatural voodoo; something which skirts into the grey and slightly disconcerting borders of the horror genre. This, to me, is beginning to prove a greater challenge than I originally anticipated. The whole spooky horror business is something I’ve generally managed to avoid my entire writing life. The exact reason as to why is something of a mystery. There were a few instances at school where we were more or less instructed to write a horror story, I met it with my traditional feckless disrespect for the subject matter and wry, yet utterly surreal humour. At least I’d like to think that my humour is wry.